Posted by Anders on May 01, 2005

In Reply to: Half-baked posted by DRC on April 30, 2005

: : : : Half-baked. Any thoughts on the origin of that?

: : : Surely, just improperly cooked food out of the oven - not much use to eat and therefore not worth wasting time on. That's my guess.

: : In the U.S. it is primarily used to mean a plan, a scheme, an idea of some kind which, figuratively, needs further cooking (more thought, more work) before it is digestible or fit for table. That doesn't mean that a half-baked idea can necessarily be improved by further cooking. The OED gives, as one definition: "underdone, not thorough, not earnest; raw, crude, ill-digested; half-finished, incomplete, rude," first cited from 1613. They also say it can mean a silly fellow, even a lunatic. SS

: It could also mean someone half through their glaucoma medication. As in the movie with the same title.

In The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) takes the expression literally, to amusing effect:

Mr. Braddock: Don't you think that idea is a little half-baked?
Benjamin Braddock: Oh no, Dad, it's completely baked.